Kenya's largest supermarket chain Nakumatt has closed its Thika Road Mall (TRM) branch, the move coming barely a month after shutting down its outlet at the NextGen Mall along Mombasa Road after just nine months of operations.
A notice posted at the TRM entrance suggested the closure is to allow for stock-taking by the troubled retailer.
“The branch will be temporarily closed due to a stock-taking exercise,” says the notice from management.
“We thank you for your patronage and apologise for any inconvenience caused,” it adds.
Residents have been asked to visit other Nakumatt stores nearby namely, Ridgeways, Garden City and Wendani.
The store, which is the mall's anchor tenant, was was opened in 2013 and was the first mega shopping complex along the Thika superhighway.
It targeted customers from the budding Roysambu, Zimmerman, Githurai, Kasarani, Kahawa and Ruaraka neighbourhoods.
Covering a shopping floor space of 80,000 square feet, it was Nakumatt’s 39th store in East Africa at the time of its opening.
Fighting for survival
The family-owned business is fighting to cut back on massive debts owed to suppliers estimated at Sh15 billion as at February 2015, a situation that has been piling pressure on its operations.
The retailer is banking on cash injection from a new strategic investor to address frequent stock outs at its outlets.
The company in May announced plans to close its poorly performing branches in Kenya and Uganda as part of cost-cutting measures aimed at saving the retailer Sh1.5 billion annually.
The first store to be shut down was the Haile Selassie Branch located at the Kenyatta University Plaza, Nairobi, which was closed in May and the premises handed back to the university, which is the landlord.
Nakumatt did not, however, disclose the total number of branches that will cease operations under the strategy.